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AMA News Room

Nov. 10, 2014

California Surgeon Recognized for his Tireless Charitable Work and Public Service

For immediate release:
Nov. 10, 2014

DALLAS – The American Medical Association (AMA) presented Peter N. Bretan Jr., M.D., a California urologist and transplant surgeon, with the Benjamin Rush Award for Citizenship and Community Service. The award recognizes physicians who have gone above and beyond their professional call of duty to make an outstanding public service contribution.

Dr. Bretan was chosen by the AMA for his exceptional work as an innovator in renal transplant surgery and urology, in addition to his unwavering disaster relief efforts around the globe to help save lives. He is the founder of Life Plant International, a charitable organization that promotes disaster preparedness, organ donation and early disease screening worldwide. 

Following the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans in 2005, Dr. Bretan provided free medical care as part of "Team Orleans." Since 2002, he has also made several medical mission trips to the Philippines to perform and teach local physicians about kidney transplantation and laparoscopic kidney removals. More recently, he served as part of a medical mission to the Philippines to provide care to victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

"It is an honor to present Dr. Bretan with this AMA award honoring his dedication to helping those in greatest need of care," said AMA President Robert M. Wah, M.D. "He is an inspiration to all physicians and his commitment to the betterment of public health sets a high bar to which we should all strive to attain."

Dr. Bretan currently serves as an adjunct clinical professor of urology at Touro University, as well as chief of surgery at Novato Community Hospital in Novato, Calif., where he has worked since 2000. He is a member of the U.S. Surgeon General's Deployable Surgical Team and also serves on county and state panels to educate physicians on disaster preparedness.

As an innovator in his field, Dr. Bretan has received national recognition and numerous awards for his work including the Disaster Service Medal and Outstanding Unit Award from the U.S. Surgeon General, and the 2011 Excellence in Service Award from the University of California, Berkeley Alumni Association. Additionally, Dr. Bretan has held numerous industry leadership roles including trustee for the California Medical Association, past president of Marin Medical Society and former captain in the U.S. Public Health Service Reserves.

Dr. Bretan earned his Bachelor of Science degree in physiology from University of California, Berkeley and his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, where he completed residencies in general surgery and urology, as well as a fellowship in radiology. He also completed a fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation in transplantation and renovascular surgery. Dr. Bretan and his wife, Melanie, have four children and reside in Novato.

The award was presented to Dr. Bretan during the opening session of the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting in Dallas, Texas.

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Media Contact:
Catherine Williams
AMA Media & Editorial
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